Arbitrator rules in favor of Drew Brees

Arbitrator Stephen Burbank has ruled in favor of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in his grievance over the designation of his franchise tag.

This may put more pressure on the New Orleans Saints to sign Brees to a contract extension. If Brees and the Saints do not work out a contract and the quarterback plays this season under the franchise tag, the 2013 season will be the last year he can be tagged.

Brees' current tender amount is $16.4 million. A third tag would bump up his salary 140 percent, instead of 120 percent for a second tag, which is where the $23 million number comes into play.

The good news for Saints fans is Burbank's ruling sets the baseline for which the Saints and Brees' agent Tom Condon can negotiate and could help to get a deal done soon.

The NFL Players Association had asked Burbank to determine whether Brees has been hit with the franchise tag in 2012 for a first or second time, after being tagged by the San Diego Chargers in 2005.'s Jason LaCanfora reports that the NFL can appeal this ruling and that appeals generally are an expected part of this process.

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